No one will dispute that we are knee deep in a recession. Or that times are tough for everyone. You may be distracted or feeling harried. Somewhere along the line, in spite of the stress we all may be under, it is important to remember basic courtesies and the Golden Rule. This is a quick reminder intended to help keep people from burning their bridges and perhaps stifling relationships that could prove to be valuable down the road. If you have asked others for help with your job search or with your career development issues, then please take a minute to read these tips.
1. Pay attention! If you are going to ask for help, then be ready to respond. All too often, a please for assistance goes out, and responses are sent, yet the initiator may take days to respond. Not good form. If you have put out a request for help (for absolutely anything), then by all means, make yourself available for the answer. Further, remember to thank those that respond, even if they are unable to provide the information you requested.
2. Be prepared. In order to get an introduction, your ducks need to be in a row. That means you have prepared an introductory paragraph that can be used by your contact to introduce you to the party you have requested to meet. Valuable time is wasted while the person in between thinks of the right thing to say about you. If you have already been introduced, then you also need to be prepared to take immediate action. Be prepared to follow up by sending a recruiter a resume, or by answering questions from the 3rd party. In either case, allowing for days to pass in between only diminishes the likelihood that the person will make themselves available at a later date, or for that matter, remember who the heck you are when/if you finally surface.
3. Be responsive. If you have asked for an introduction, and consequently get one, then follow up within 48 hours! There is simply no excuse for not following up immediately, even if it is to notify the party that you are in Brazil and will be getting back to them when you return in two weeks.
4. Keep the referring party (parties) in the loop. Any time someone helps connect you, they have a stake in what happens next. Their reputation is on the line. As a professional courtesy, it is appropriate for the person in between to be cc’d on your correspondence. They will then know what has transpired, and will be able to determine if their contact is responsive or not, or if you have represented them well. If there are a series of connections, then it may be important for those parties along the way to be aware of the trail.
5. Circle back. After it is all said and done, once you have connected with the person you have asked to meet, it is important to thank them for their time, and apprise the originator of the outcome.
Please describe the differences you have seen when you or someone else have/has been responsive and courteous in your/their networking efforts, versus when things have fallen through the cracks.